State-of-the-Art of Research on Seismic Pounding Between Buildings with Aligned Slabs

  • Alireza Kharazian
  • Francisco López-AlmansaEmail author
Original Paper


Collision between adjoining buildings with aligned slabs is relevant, since the huge impact forces significantly modify the buildings dynamic behavior. The separation required by the regulations avoids pounding; however, even in recent buildings, impact can occur due to not fulfillment of codes and seismicity underestimation. Given the importance of this issue, a significant research effort has been undertaken worldwide, and a considerable number of papers are available. The complexity of this field and this abundance of information might require a review task. This paper presents a summary of the theoretical developments, discusses the most common simulation software, provides an overview of the previous research, offers recommendations to researchers, and identifies research needs.


Seismic pounding Colliding adjoining buildings Numerical simulation 

List of Symbols


Cross-section area, integration constant (Eq. 3)

B, C, D

Integration constants (Eq. 3)


Traveling axial waves velocity \(\left( {c={{\left( {\frac{E}{{\overline {{\varvec{\uprho}}} }}} \right)}^{1/2}}} \right)\), damping coefficient


Gap between two adjoining colliding buildings


Equivalent elastic deformation modulus


Axial stiffness of the left/right colliding slabs


Impact force


Stiffness of Kelvin–Voigt model


Length of the colliding slabs (in the pounding direction)


Mass of a building or frame


Equivalent mass of the colliding of slabs of the left/right buildings


Axial force (tension positive)


Time-dependent factor in the eigenvalue analysis of axial vibrations


Restitution factor


Time, impact duration

\({\overline {m} _0}\)

Part of external mass per unit length that is mobilized during the axial vibrations




Axial displacement


Traveling (absolute) velocities of left/right slabs in the beginning of the collision


Joint velocity, during impact, of the interface between both colliding bodies


Traveling (absolute) velocity of the left slab at the end of the collision

\({{{{v^{\prime}}_2}} \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {{{{v^{\prime}}_2}} {{{v^{\prime\prime}}_2}}}} \right. \kern-0pt} {{{v^{\prime\prime}}_2}}}\)

After-impact velocity of the right slab unstrained segment/After-impact average velocity of the right slab


Coordinate/coordinates of the colliding of slabs of the left/right buildings


Axial displacement in the elastic impact analysis


Axial strain


Modal shape in the eigenvalue analysis of axial vibrations


Wave length in the eigenvalue analysis of axial vibrations


Angular frequency, natural frequency

\({\rho \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {\rho {\overline {\rho } }}} \right. \kern-0pt} {\overline {\rho } }}\)

Mass/equivalent mass per unit volume


Damping ratio

\({\xi \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {\xi \psi }} \right. \kern-0pt} \psi }\)

Coordinates (x – c t/x + c t) in the elastic impact analysis



This work has received financial support from the Spanish Government under Projects BIA2014-60093-R, MAT2014-60647-R and CGL2015-6591. These supports are gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© CIMNE, Barcelona, Spain 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of CataloniaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Technical University of CataloniaBarcelonaSpain

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